Episode 12: Not Playing with Their Hearts

It's once again proven that if all else fail , "alliance" is the name of the game. It's not about being the nicest and most dignified guy in the tribe, but it's about forming a solid alliance that will take you to the end. And it's already a tell-tale sign that Carter Williams is on the chopping block the moment he loses immunity. After all, he and Abi sided with Jonathan Penner during the last tribal council against the power 4 of Mike Skupin, Denise, Lisa and Malcolm. 

So here's how the latest episode of Survivor Philippines turned out:

At night 30, after Penner was voted off, Abi said that that the foursome alliance of Malcolm and the rest is clear and the next target would be only between her and Carter. The kid from Kansas, Carter told the girl from Brazil that if she indeed got an idol, she would definitely go farther in the game. Abi assured Carter that she indeed got an idol. 

Lisa meanwhile, shared her feelings to Malcolm and Denise after voting off Penner. Denise complimented Lisa for sticking with her guts. Lisa admitted that she agreed with Penner that Malcolm is truly playing a brilliant game - 'strategic, likeable, good at challenges, all around great game." She also knew that going to the end with Malcolm and Denise would not be a great strategy but betraying their trust would oppose who she was.
Day 31 Sibling Love

It was another emotional reward challenge for the castaways as they reunite and get paired with their loved ones.  Mike Skupin is paired with his namesake son, Michael. Skupin described his son as being the best human being he ever met. He recalled how his son met Jeff Probst 12 years ago and ever since, they both wanted to return to Survivor. Carter reunited with his mom, Bianca. Carter admitted that he has never broke down before seeing his mom. Denise's husband Brad rushed and the two kissed and hugged. Denise described her man as the one who truly makes her laugh and makes everything all right the next day while Brad described her wife as bundle of strength and love in a tiny little package.

In what Probst described as on top of the most powerful loved one moment, Lisa and his brother Justice Coleman reunited with tight hugs and tears. Lisa was crying like a baby as she said that there's no other person she would share that moment with other than her beautiful baby brother - who happened to be 20 years younger than her.

Abi's mother Vera came in next. Abi said that her mom was very confused coming over, being unable to speak English but she was glad to be part of the game. Lastly, Malcolm's brother Miles made a grand entrance. Malcolm stops his bro before he gets knocked over. The cuddly and emotional Miles said that he has been following his brother's footsteps and he knows that big bro is doing great in the game.

The mechanics of the reward challenge: each castaway would toss a muddy bag to their loved one who should knock down five bamboo poles. The first to achieve the goal wins the reward which is to be able to spend an entire afternoon and evening together back at camp.

Malcolm and Miles were ahead as the latter knock down two poles. Abi and her mom were having trouble with catching the muddy bags. Carter, Skupin and Malcolm were all down to one but it was the brothers who ultimately wins the reward. 

Probst asked Malcolm to pick a pair that would also go back to the camp. Malcolm picked Lisa and her brother, Justice. Malcolm explained that he picked Lisa because she has been struggling the past couple of days. Malcolm then asked for another pair to choose. He picked the  Mike Skupins. Carter, Denise and Abi bid farewell to their loved ones with broken hearts. Skupin exclaims "one heck of a guy" referring to Carter as he said goodbye to his mom.

Malcolm explained that he only had moments to make a decision and he is just rewarding Lisa and Skupin for sticking up with him and Denise. "Those are my allies, I need to take care of them and keep them close," Malcolm said.

Day 31
Lisa and Brother's Target: Malcolm

It appears that Lisa had a new lease in life being with her brother back at camp. Malcolm on the other hand is worried that his brother, whom he described as a "knucklehead in a nice way" would cost him the million dollars because of his mouth. Meanwhile, just like his father, Skupin Jr. got all bloodied up after climbing his way up to get a coconut. Yup, like father like son even in acquiring injuries.

Lisa and Justice got to have a one-on-one talk. Lisa explained that she's got a pretty solid alliance with Denise, Skupin and Malcolm. But she didn't want to Malcolm to be in the final three. (She has just  miraculously forgotten that it's Malcolm who brought her together with her brother.) Lisa told Justice how she has found Malcolm's immunity idol and how she practically threw him under the bus. She admitted that she made a lot of mistakes in the game. Justice, on the other hand, had a goal of reminding Lisa just to think of the game and to outwit, outlast and outplay everybody.

Later, Skupin told his son Micahel, Lisa and her brother that Malcolm can only play his immunity idol during the next tribal council or the next night. So, the three of them could actually take Carter and Abi and take the opportunity to blindside Malcolm.  Lisa was reluctant at first because she gave her word to Malcolm. But Justice reminded her that she has already betrayed Malcolm before but he was just cool with it. And because of Justice's encouragement, Lisa felt that the entire picture has become crystal clear to her that she can actually "play the game". (I can't believe that at Day 31, Lisa still think that she's not playing the game.) So, Lisa decide to open up Justice's new perspective to Mike which is to vote Malcolm next.

Later, Lisa and her brother with Mike senior and junior "bond over Jesus" as they prayed together, with Lisa leading, saying it's God's will whoever wins. Lisa proclaimed that God doesn't choose side and He is a win-win God.

Meanwhile, Malcolm admitted that it's his biggest fear that Lisa who was at the rock bottom, would become reinvigorated after being with his brother who appears to be a sensible guy.

The next day, the castaways bid their farewells to the visiting loved ones. Skupin took his son's shirt.

Lisa's Plan Busted: Malcolm wins First Immunity

For the immunity challenge, each castaway would cross a bamboo balance beam over the water to get to a platform where they would pull three ropes. Attached on each ropes are three bags underwater that contains more ropes (and sticks?) which they will use at the last stage of the challenge. At the final platform, they should tie a couple of sticks with the ropes to make a pole to knock over their target that would pull down the immunity flag.

It was a pretty close fight among the castaways except for Abi "who was taking her time like there was nothing attached to the challenge" as Probst put it. Lisa was the first to try to knock down the target but fell short. Later it was a head-to-head battle between Malcolm and Carter. But in the end, it's Malcolm who won immunity. Malcolm celebrated his first individual immunity challenge win.

Lisa on the other hand was bummed that when they were about to make a big move, Malcolm gets another immunity.

Carter or Abi

"It's the most relaxing feeling in entire game after winning the individual immunity. My mind gets a break. It's like icing on the cake. I can't be voted off tonight. I'm part of the final 5 and I can  play my other idol. I'm in the final 4 of Survivor and it's only day 33. I can taste it, oh my gosh," said Malcolm after assuring himself to be safe in the next two tribal councils.

Lisa on the other hand believed that God closed the door on their plan of voting Malcolm. So, Skupin asked the most pressing question of the day, "Would you rather vote Abi or Carter tonight?"

Malcolm and Skupin  agreed that they love Carter and they don't want to vote him out. But Malcolm admitted to Carter that his only disadvantage is that he is a threat. Skupin told Carter that they should vote Abi off for every other possible thousand reasons.

Carter made a simple plea to Malcolm and Skupin that if they respect him and the game, they should pick him to stick around rather than Abi. Carter was hanging on to the words of the other castaways that they would keep the people in the game who deserves to stay.

When the six castaways gather together at camp, Abi assured everyone that she would use her hidden immunity idol on the next tribal council. She then had another heated conversation with Denise and Lisa.

Malcolm described Abi as a soul-sucker, like a dementor in Harry Potter and nobody wanted her around anymore but they would definitely take into consideration the hidden immunity Abi was talking about.

Abi walked away from everyone and got herself a fantasy idol.

"I am definitely on my own.. I'm an alliance of one person, fantasy idol.. If you tell a lie long enought everyone will start to believe it.  I even believe in my own lie," Abi said.

Later, Malcolm confessed that even if it's bad strategically, they could vote off Abi for the sake of his morale and if she goes home tonight, it's because she's a bitch.

The Fifth Jury

At the tribal council, Probst asked Malcolm if he feels that he needed to win the idol. Malcolm said that he felt safe with his group of four with Skupin, Lisa and Denise. Seeing that it's pretty obvious Abi and Carter are not part of Malcolm's alliance, Probst asked Carter what he felt about it.

Carter said that he couldn't understand why they would have to pick someone who they can beat other than the person who deserves it. He said that he should be given the chance to fight another day because he deserved it.

Skupin said that the thought of voting off Carter is like voting off his own kid. Lisa admitted that she would rather have Abi sit with her in the final to make it easier for her to win. Abi on the other hand declared again that she had the 4th immunity idol and she's going to play it. Denise said that they don't have any proof that Abi had the idol. Denise also didn't think that Abi could win the game.

Time to vote. Carter voted for Abi, Abi voted for Carter.

Probst tallied the votes and it was revealed that Carter got 5 votes, Abi got one.

After being safe, Abi did the sign of the cross as Carter walked away.

"The smaller the number gets, the more difficult the game becomes," Probst said as he recognized the final five.

“The realization that my 'Survivor' experience is over is weighing heavily on me. It does hurt to know that that four would rather play with someone like Abi, who they feel like they can beat in the next few days, as opposed to me. I can understand it, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. They’re playing with their heads and not their hearts at this point,” Carter said.

Next week: We find an unlikely alliance between Lisa and Abi that could possibly turn the game around.

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